Cheddar Ale Soup is an amazingly comforting cheesy, flavorful soup made with veggies, beer, and lots of sharp cheddar cheese. Easy to make and sure to satisfy on a chilly fall and winter day. This soup is a tried and true cheesy masterpiece that will have everyone at your kitchen table smiling!
Cheddar Ale Soup
Cheese. Beer. Soup. Is there a better combination? I don’t think so! This hearty soup is a true treat, especially in those chilly fall and winter months when you need a bowl of comfort to help you warm up a bit. Loaded with veggies like carrots and celery, the beer of your choice (ales and lagers work best), and deliciously sharp cheddar cheese, this soup is a surefire savory win.
Those ingredients I just mentioned aren’t all that’s at play in this cheesy medley, either. Seasonings like paprika and ground mustard are just two of the powerful flavors that make this soup so mouthwatering! There’s nothing worse than a bland soup when you’re craving something comforting, and this recipe is the farthest thing from bland – it’s pretty rich.
Whether you serve this cheddar ale soup all on its own, garnished with croutons and bacon bits, or with a piece of toasted bread to soak up every last drop, you’re going to love it! It’s a savory, slightly salty, and wholly flavorful easy to make soup that’s an autumnal delight. Cozy up with a bowl of this cheesy beer soup during campfire get togethers, football parties, and more!
Ingredients for Cheddar Ale Soup
- Canola Oil – You can use vegetable oil instead if you’d prefer.
- Bacon – I like to use pork bacon for the best flavor, but turkey bacon may also be used.
- Yellow Onion – Vidalia onion will be a nice substitution with a touch of sweetness.
- Medium Carrots – They’ll need to be peeled and diced.
- Celery Ribs – Remember to thoroughly rinse the celery before using, as celery can tend to be a bit dirty.
- Garlic – Use freshly minced garlic for the best flavor, not the pre-minced garlic from the grocery store.
- All-Purpose Flour – This serves as a thickening agent for the soup, providing it with the best consistency. Use gluten free flour if needed.
- Beer – Use an ale or lager for this soup. Do NOT use IPAs, or dark stouts like Guinness. (If needed, you can use gluten free beer. See notes below.)
- Worcestershire Sauce – The complexity of flavor that this tangy sauce provides cannot be substituted with any other ingredient!
- Whole Milk – I prefer whole milk to all other milks for this soup, as it helps to create the creamiest consistency.
- Chicken Stock – For the BEST results, use Homemade Chicken Stock.
- Sharp Cheddar Cheese – Make sure it’s sharp and make sure to use block cheese and grate it yourself. It makes a big difference!
- Paprika – You can use smoked paprika instead if you’d prefer a hint of smoky flavor.
- Ground Mustard – Just a teaspoon of this tangy powder is enough to create a great flavor in the soup.
- Black Pepper
- Bay Leaf
How to Make Cheddar Ale Soup
In a Dutch oven, cook the bacon until the fat is all rendered. Then remove the bacon with a slotted spoon, leaving the fat in the pan.
Add all of the veggies to the pot and cook until softened, then add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Sprinkle flour over all of the veggies.
Slowly pour in the ale, stirring constantly. Then, add in the Worcestershire sauce, milk, broth, bay leaf, and seasonings. Stir and bring to a simmer.
Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook for about 10 minutes before discarding of the bay leaf. For smooth soup, transfer everything into a blender or a food processor and blend until smooth. Transfer the soup back into the pot.
Add the cheese a handful at a time, stirring as you go. Slowly stir and the cheese melts and the soup is nice and smooth.
Remove the soup from the heat, garnish, and enjoy!
Can I make this soup gluten free?
While the flour can always be substituted for a gluten free all purpose flour, you have to be careful with beer. Gluten free beers do have a similar taste to an IPA, which is harsh and bitter.
If you do like the taste of gluten free beer, you may enjoy it in a soup as well. You can also add 1/2-1 tsp of white granulated sugar to balance out the bitterness somewhat. So in short, if you do like the taste of gluten free beers, you can make this soup gluten free by using gluten free beer and gluten free all purpose flour.
Variations to Try
- This soup has a lot of flavor in it already, but you can also give it a kick and make it little spicy. To make it spicier, add either some crushed red pepper flakes (1/2-1 tsp) or a pinch of cayenne pepper.
- You can also choose to blend then soup before adding the cheese so make it smooth, or leave it chunky.
- Play around with some cheeses by combining one block of sharp cheddar cheese with gruyere, Gouda, or even Asiago. Just make sure that the Asiago is not too hard, or only use a little bit because it doesn’t melt as well as others.
Some More Comforting Cheesy Recipes
Beer Mac and Cheese – this easy mac and cheese is made with a rich and creamy beer cheese sauce
Beer Cheese Dip – a gooey, cheesy, flavorful dip that is ready in about 10 minutes
Irish Beer Burger – delicious, juicy beer burger made with Guinness caramelized onions, Swiss cheese, and crispy bacon, all on a potato roll
Beer Cheese Jalapeño Brats – delicious beer bratwurst grilled along with onions and jalapenos and then topped with easy homemade beer cheese sauce.
Cheddar Ale Soup
- 1 tbsp canola oil
- 1/2 lb bacon diced
- 1 small yellow onion diced
- 2 medium carrots diced
- 2 celery ribs diced
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1/3 cup all purpose flour
- 1 cup ale or lager
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 cup chicken stock or broth
- 1 lb sharp cheddar cheese blocks (2 8oz blocks)
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp ground mustard
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- salt to taste
- Preheat a Dutch oven over medium to medium-high heat and add oil. Add diced bacon, stir and cook until the fat it all rendered. Use a slotted spoon to take the bacon bits out and set it aside (leave the bacon grease in the pot.)
- Add diced onion, celery, and carrots to the pot and cook until softened. Make sure to stir from time to time.
- Stir in minced garlic and cook for a few seconds, until fragrant.
- Sprinkle flour over the vegetables and stir until veggies are evenly coated.
- Slowly pour in ale, while stirring constantly, and slowly stir for a few more seconds.
- Add in Worcestershire sauce, milk, broth, bay leaf, paprika, ground mustard, salt, and pepper. Stir and bring it to simmer.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for about 10 minutes. Discard the bay leaf. For smooth soup: Remove the pot from the heat and puree the soup in a blender or food processor.Or you can leave it a little chucky.
- Pour back into the pot if you decided to blend it and keep the heat at medium-low.
- Add the cheese one handful at a time while stirring slowly and constantly (do not let it boil). Keep stirring until all cheese is melted.
- Take off heat and garnish with bacon bits and croutons!